Saturday, May 25, 2024

Kempsey Shire formalises Reconciliation Action plan

Kempsey Shire Council’s determination to celebrate the shire’s proud Dunghutti and Thunggutti heritage has been officially formalised through the adoption of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

At the May Ordinary Meeting of Council, Councillors voted unanimously to adopt a first Reconciliation Action Plan following months of internal and external engagement.

This ‘reflect’ document is Council’s first formal step in working towards genuine reconciliation and is the first of four steps outlined by Reconciliation Australia.

Kempsey Shire Council Mayor, Leo Hauville said he was pleased Council had supported the comprehensive Plan that would lead the way for many other councils across Australia.

“We all need to reconcile and learn from our Dunghutti and Thunggutti people’s history, heritage and culture,” said Mayor Hauville.

“This exemplar plan is endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and the steps outlined will guide us on our journey to commit to reconciliation.”

There are four levels to a formal Reconciliation Action Plan, with the first being the reflect level. This document represents Council’s formal commitment to reconciliation and to following the steps set out by Reconciliation Australia on this journey.

“We really have a strong commitment to ensure this is embedded in our organisation’s culture,” said Kempsey Shire Council General Manager, Craig Milburn.

“We have undertaken extensive internal and external engagement to develop our first Reconciliation Action Plan. Reconciliation is everyone’s business and each and every one of us has a role to play in creating a united future.”

Council acknowledged and thanked those who helped create the document, including Dunghutti Elder, Uncle Bob Smith, for his knowledge of the shire’s Aboriginal heritage and local Aboriginal artist, Stephen McLeod, whose storytelling artwork appears in the document and in much of Council’s communication channel.

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